Prospero Place


Once a large gully with a stream running through it, the area was purchased in the 1950s to enable the development of a shopping mall. Though the idea never eventuated, pedestrians began using the area as a walkway, and in the late 1950s a formal pedestrian route had been developed.

Prospero Place has reflected the changing face of Stratford - from concrete planters and raised gardens in the 1970s to the brown timber painted fences and tileedged lawns of the 1990s.

An upgrade and extension of the library took place in 1998 and in 2002 Prospero Place was chosen as the site of the Percy Thomson Art Gallery. This building, whose architectural feature is an outline of Mt Taranaki, became possible following a bequest from former Stratford mayor Percy Thomson, who died in 1962. The building also hosts the i-SITE Information Centre and a café.

In keeping with the mountain theme the landscaping incorporates alpine planting. The paving has also been upgraded, with specimen trees and the existing gardens and lawn area revamped to create an informal enclosed space in the centre of the business district.

This area has now become a focal point of the town with street market days, Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular events and outdoor exhibitions. Across Broadway stands New Zealand’s only glockenspiel clock tower which plays a five minute sequence from Romeo and Juliet.

Overlooking Prospero Place is a bust of William Shakespeare, further linking Stratford-on-Patea to its namesake Stratford-on-Avon. 

Contact Details

Physical Address

Prospero Place



Disabled Access

Suitable wheelchair access